It may seem overwhelming to move to a virtual learning environment. We’ve got good news. NC State is prepared, and your Pack is here to support you.
Ready to learn remotely? This might be a new experience for you. Here are some initial steps to help you feel prepared and stay focused on your goals for the semester. Remember to approach this new way of learning with patience, flexibility, and kindness. You’re not alone in learning new tools and practices. The Pack is here to help!
Get familiar with remote learning terminology
Here are some terms you might encounter in one or more of your courses.
- Asynchronous learning means learning at your own pace within specified guidelines. Many NC State instructors use Moodle as an asynchronous learning tool where you can complete readings, discussion posts, and assignments when it’s convenient for you.
- Synchronous learning means learning at the same time as others. Zoom is often used for synchronous meetings at NC State. Everyone is present at the same time, working on the same thing. Video and audio technologies may be used in real time to facilitate interaction.
- Learning management system (LMS), or course management system, is a software tool for course administration, documents, tracking, reporting, and delivery. The LMS allows your instructor to keep all of your course materials in one virtual space. Moodle is the official LMS at NC State.
- Web conferencing is an approach that facilitates synchronous learning and is often used for webinars and virtual office hours. The official web conferencing platforms used at NC State are Zoom and Google Hangouts. Both of these platforms have video and instant messaging capabilities.
- GSuite is something you’re likely already familiar with through Gmail. NC State is a Google Campus. Your instructors may ask you to use Google Drive, Google Docs, Google Forms, Google Calendar, or Google Hangouts to collaborate with your classmates. These tools are part of the GSuite, and you have access to all of them using your Unity ID.
Familiarize yourself with changes in each class
Carefully read communications from each instructor about their plans and expectations for remote learning in each course. If you aren’t able to answer the following questions about any course, reach out to the instructor for more information. Be patient if an instructor does not know all of the answers right away.
- What technology do I need to meet the new requirements of the course?
- How has the schedule changed for the rest of the semester?
- How, and how often, will I need to check in virtually for the course?
- How am I expected to interact online with the instructor and my classmates?
- How are my assignments changing?
Identify possible challenges and solutions early on
If you are concerned about slow Internet connection, limited or no Internet service, personal or family illness, or another extenuating circumstance, communicate that to your instructor as soon as possible. Ask them to help identify alternative arrangements that will keep you engaged, learning, and moving forward in the course.
- For tutoring services, schedule a meeting with someone from the Academic Success Center, formerly the University Tutorial Center.
- For accommodations due to a disability, contact the Disability Resource Office at 919.515.7653 or email@example.com.
- For technology questions, contact the Office of Information Technology at help.ncsu.edu or 919.515.HELP (4357).
- For additional coronavirus resources, please visit Pack Essentials for a list of companies that are offering free or discounted services for students.